The Rundown: Extremists target the LGBTQ community

Plus, a guide to Illinois’ upcoming primary election. Here’s what you need to know today.

Chicago Pride Parade
Crowds line the street as they watch the Chicago Pride Parade, Sunday, June 25, 2017. G-Jun Yam / AP Photo
Chicago Pride Parade
Crowds line the street as they watch the Chicago Pride Parade, Sunday, June 25, 2017. G-Jun Yam / AP Photo

The Rundown: Extremists target the LGBTQ community

Plus, a guide to Illinois’ upcoming primary election. Here’s what you need to know today.

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Good afternoon! It’s Tuesday, and it’s hot out there. I’ve been staying indoors and playing with an AI-powered image generator. And working. Yes. Working. Here’s what you need to know today.

1. Chicago police are on the lookout for neo-Nazi, far-right threats to the city’s Pride events

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown this week announced officials are working with the FBI and other federal agencies to gather information after 31 members of a neo-Nazi group were arrested near an Idaho Pride event over the weekend.

“We want our officers to be focused on not only the intelligence that they’re hearing about what’s happening in Chicago, [but] any potential threats so that we can have those addressed so we can have anyone who might do harm to anyone there dealt with swiftly,” Brown told reporters.

This weekend will see the Pride Fest in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, with the Pride Parade the following weekend.

Both events take place during a time in which far-right extremists are increasingly targeting the LGBTQ community, experts say.

“It’s driven by hate, it’s driven by malice, it’s driven by misinformation and lies. And so it’s important to be aware of what’s occurring on the ground,” David Goldenberg, the regional director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Midwest office, told the Chicago Sun-Times. [CST]

2. The enormously difficult balancing act facing the U.S. economy

Wall Street today struggled to rebound after yesterday’s turmoil, and investors are bracing for how the Federal Reserve will decide to move forward this week with interest rate hikes aimed at tamping down inflation.

Here is the crux of the problem facing the nation’s central bank and the economy: The Federal Reserve’s plan to tackle inflation comes with the risk of triggering a recession. But officials are worried that higher prices could become permanent if the situation isn’t adequately addressed. [AP]

A majority of leading economists say they believe a recession is unavoidable and will happen next year, according to a survey conducted in partnership with the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. [Financial Times]

My colleague Charmaine Runes and I were talking about inflation today, and they reminded me that Chicago officials are offering financial aid to residents who are struggling with higher gas prices. [City of Chicago]

3. Trump’s false claims of election fraud gain traction in GOP primaries

An analysis from The Washington Post found more than 100 winners in GOP primaries are backing former President Donald Trump’s false claims of fraud in the 2020 election.

“The analysis offers a fresh portrait of the extent to which embracing Trump’s false claims has become part of a winning formula in this year’s GOP contests, and what it means for the immediate future of American democracy,” the Post reports.

“The majority of the election-denying candidates who have secured their nominations are running in districts or states that lean Republican, according to Cook Political Report ratings, meaning they are likely to win the offices they are seeking.” [WaPo]

Meanwhile, the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection — and how Trump’s false election claims played a role — has postponed tomorrow’s hearing. [AP]

4. A guide to Illinois’ primary election

The state’s June 28 primary election is quickly approaching, and my colleagues at WBEZ and the Chicago Sun-Times have created a guide to 13 key races that voters will decide.

One of the biggest races is the GOP primary for governor, which could further illustrate just how loyal Republican voters remain to former President Donald Trump.

Among the frontrunners is Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, who has repeatedly dodged questions about Trump as he tries to appeal to moderates. The other frontrunner is state Sen. Darren Bailey, who makes no secret of his support of the former president. [WBEZ]

Meanwhile, Injustice Watch has a guide to judicial candidates on the ballot. [Injustice Watch]

5. Apple and Major League Soccer forge a 10-year deal

Apple is hoping to score a big goal with Major League Soccer as the TV streaming wars have entered a new phase of heightened competition. (See: Netflix’s drop in subscribers.)

The 10-year deal will make Apple TV+ the place to stream “every single game in the season as well as League Cup games,” reports Deadline. “The deal will begin with the 2023 season.” [Deadline]

As Sports Illustrated reports, MLS is “buoyed by the conviction that its fan base is younger, more global and more technologically savvy than that of more traditional pro sports leagues.” [SI]

Here’s what else is happening

  • Criminal charges were filed against the former police officer who got into a confrontation with a Black woman last year at Chicago’s North Avenue beach. [Chicago Sun-Times]
  • Richard M. Daley, Chicago’s longest serving mayor, was released from a hospital after experiencing a “neurological event.” [Chicago Sun-Times]
  • The nation faces a shortage of tampons due to the same economic forces that have bogged down the global economy. [Washington Post]
  • The moon, our galaxy’s biggest stunt queen, will be putting on a show this week. [NPR]

Oh, and one more thing …

Lady Gaga is in talks to join Joaquin Phoenix in a sequel to 2019’s Joker, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

It’s not clear whom Lady Gaga will play, but an educated guess would point to Harley Quinn, a psychiatrist who falls in love with the Joker and joins him on his crime sprees.

Sounds great so far. Sign me up. But then there’s this part: Unnamed sources tell the Hollywood Reporter that the sequel will be a musical. [THR]

I mean, maybe it could work, especially with Lady Gaga? But that soundtrack may have a hard time getting out of the shadow of Prince’s work on 1989’s Batman.

Tell me something good …

My colleagues at WBEZ created an amazing and extensive guide to free events in Chicago this summer. And I’d like to know what’s a favorite or hilarious memory you have of enjoying the summer in the city.

Susan writes:

“Three years ago I was a fanatic table tennis (ping pong) player: While walking and taking in the carnival atmosphere of Northalsted Market Days, I stopped to admire a barker.

“He was dressed solely in his white bikini brief underwear with an attached piece of cloth in the front to create a pouch, not for a kangaroo, but for a ping pong ball that was to be thrown by a street fair attendee. The prize was a short sleeve shirt.

“After watching several guys fail I decided to step up to the plate. I was given three white ping pong balls. The crowd around me raised their voices and groaned with the first two throws. With great concentration I threw the last ball and to everyone’s surprise the ball landed where it was supposed to … IN THE POUCH … EVERYONE CHEERED … and I rushed to get through the crowd to pick up my prize … a black shirt with colorfully emblazoned words written in the front … ‘LOVE IS LOVE!’ ”

Feel free to email me, and your response might appear in the newsletter this week.